Wednesday, July 26, 2006

IN WILLY'S HOUSE--Poetry Thursday

In a dim sparkle of light
hoarfrost in patches
hangs beadlike from cobwebs
in wet berry bushes.
The star
just left of the gate post
goes out, and a magpie
flits down the meadow.

Willy hears biscuits
rise and go in the oven,
hears sugar and nutmeg
shower into the Lumpy Dick
and purple chokecherry jam
come out for bread'n'with it.

The rasp of ashes
scraping coal bucket
makes goosebumps on his skin
as he lifts a chunk with the scuttle.

In Willy's house
there is (sometimes) a harvest
of sweet soup,
prunes, raisins, currents
boiled and spread in thick dark masses
on pancakes, with cream.
soggum candy boiled to cracking,
a harvest (sometimes) of pine nuts.
Always dried rounds of pumpkin,
potatoes, parsnips in the cellar,
long strips of salted beef
hung on the clothesline
like longjohns to dry.

After dark,
when the oil lamp burns low,
and smoke clouds the hot glass chimney,
Pa brings out the fiddle
and he plays
Hey the merry
Aye the merry
Hey the happy Mormon!
And Ma reads pages from
the Tales of A Thousand and One Nights:
Ali Baba, Sinbad the Sailor, and
Aladdin and His Wonderful Lamp.

O bless me, Father,
bless me,
bless this house,
bless Pa,
bless Ma,
bless this food
that nourishes our bodies,
bless these pages and this music,
in Jesus Name,

A tallow candle
lights his way to bed,
and Willy climbs into the flannel softness
of his nightshirt,
and in the dark
(the candle blown)
he sleeps.

(From: In Willy's House). Keeping to a theme, from the previous post!


Deb R said...

What a cool poem! It really evokes the feeling of a particular time and place.

jim said...

My goodness, the first three stanzas are beautiful in detail, sound, and tone--it sets up and sustains the warmth and reverance through the rest of the poem.

paris parfait said...

That is one amazing poem! Thanks for sharing this glimpse of another era.

twitches said...

The language is just beautiful here - once again, I started to copy bits of it that were my favorites, but there's just too many. Lovely!

Tammy said...

I LOVE this era and this poem transports me back there. Hard but simple times. Loved it!

Tina With Wings said...

I love the descriptions, the language, I feel like I am there.

pepektheassassin said...

Thanks, people. I'm glad you realized it was a period piece, and didn't think I don't have electricity and stuff.

Paul Decelles said...

Wonderful! Love the whole thing like good bread.

Dana said...

There's so much great detail here. You really bring this scene to life. I knew it was set in the past from the beginning, just something in the tone of it.

ecm said...

This made me want to fish out my old Little House on the Prairie books...and I loved the picture, that perfect dollop of jam on the bread.

chiefbiscuit said...

Really sets the scene - love it! Must get your book too ...

Superhero Activist said...

This poem reminded me of the "simple" pleasures that are sometimes overlooked in our high-tech world of gadgets, where we're always on the look out for the next biggest thing. Your writing inspired me to take comfort in the many joys that are out there, ripe for the taking.

C. E. Chaffin said...

Boy do I feel the skunk at the garden party. Therefore I will not comment, not upset the balance already achieved.

OK, I'll be the skunk. The description of the "sweet stew" was good but the poem ends in a fatal flush of sentimentality. I'm sorry I don't like to follow the exploits of Hummel figurines. I'm just contrary, I guess.

Thanks, Pepek, for visiting my site.

Thine in Truth and Art (it's the truth part that is hard),


pepektheassassin said...

Thanks to everyone! I appreciate all your comments!

wendylou who? said...

I lied the "somtimes"peppered through the pc. Nothig guartentee...whats there, apriciated. Well brought and crafted

wendylou who? said...

ps...can you tel how tired I was last night when I wrote your comment.. Like the prayer incorp too..kinda of similiar to superheros using theology as a setting detail.

Well Done..and good morning!

pepektheassassin said...

Good morning, WLW!